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Deputies Cite Scam on Sweepstakes Calls

September 20, 1997|JOHN CANALIS

Sheriff's deputies this week warned residents to avoid a telephone solicitation scam where victims are told they have won a Reader's Digest sweepstakes and are asked to wire money to claim prizes.

Callers falsely identify themselves as employees of Reader's Digest, Federal Express or U.S. Purchasing. They typically know the potential victims' names, address and telephone numbers.

To claim their winnings, victims are told to wire money via Western Union to Georgia. Victims are told the payments cover sweepstakes taxes. After the payments, no prizes are mailed.

Reader's Digest does not have an office in Georgia and does not conduct contests in such a manner. Legitimate sweepstakes do not require advance payment of taxes.

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